Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Avoiding soy takes time. The necessary steps of checking ingredients, understanding if soy is present, and then communicating this information all add time to normal interactions. This additional time requirement can be frustrating and feel unfair. This feeling of delay doesn’t usually come up in the grocery store, where we don’t mind taking a bit longer, but it does often come up when other people are involved.
Looking ahead or looking back, these times of delay don’t seem like a big deal. So what if it takes longer to order at a restaurant or you have to spend time looking up ingredients before grabbing some food at a party? But in the moment, having to spend the time to verify that a food is soy-free makes us feel different from other people. It can feel isolating and create unwanted social pressure. No one wants to hold up the group from ordering or make friends pause to read the menu closely before stepping into a restaurant, but avoiding soy frequently requires these sorts of actions.
What can you do about it? The first step is to be patient. It’s easy to feel rushed and under a lot of time pressure, but it is okay to slow down. Fully explore the menu before you walk into the restaurant, ask the waiter to double check the ingredients, or go find the box in the pantry to look up what the party food contains. It is okay to go slow and make sure that the food you choose to eat is soy-free.
To minimize these types of delays, do as much research ahead of time as you can. If you read through menus, identify restaurants that you feel comfortable with, and ask about food ahead of time, the in-the-moment hustle of needing an answer becomes muted. You made a decision ahead of time so you don’t need to make one under a time pressure. When this goes perfectly it can remove all need to require additional time to select a food, but even a removing a bit of time from the event can help you feel better.
While social pressure can make you feel like you need to rush, you should never feel like you have to compromise when it comes to eating soy-free. It is always okay to pause for a minute, gather additional information, and then make a decision to ensure you stay healthy and well.